Depression: take charge of your mental health

Even today, there remains somewhat of a stigma regarding depression. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are over 19 million people in the United States who suffer from depression. Sadly, even with the stigma, it is virtually up to them to do something about their depression, beginning with acknowledging it.

Warning Signs of Depression

The most recognizable sign of depression is the lack of interest in things one used to enjoy. This can include work, hobbies, family time, or anything else for that matter. A diminished ability to think or concentrate, and the slowing or speeding up of speech can be signs as well. Increased or constant fatigue is noted by many people who have depression. A nagging feeling of being “blue” or guilt may also be a sign of depression.

Snap Out of It

Contrary to what many believe, people with clinical depression cannot simply “snap out of it”. If they could, of course they would. Depression requires treatment. This treatment may be in the form of therapy, medications (or vitamin supplements), but treatment none-the-less. Telling someone to pull themselves together or snap out of it is simply ignoring the problem and laying the blame on the person with depression. A visit to a doctor or therapist is a better piece of advice.

Depressed, or Depression

Almost everyone gets depressed on occasion. It is a normal part of life caused by unpleasant happenings in a person’s life, and usually disappears by itself. Sometimes it requires a little exercise or diversion, but it clears up. Clinical depression, however, does not go away, and it often worsens. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain which cannot be avoided by the person who has depression. Sometimes, genetics plays a part in clinical depression, and often many people in a family will have it.

There is No Shame

Having depression does not mean someone is “crazy”. All sorts of people can get clinical depression. Sadly, some do not get help because of the stigma associated with it. Good, productive, hard working people can suffer from clinical depression, so it is not a character indicator. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and even many celebrities have come out and admitted they have had depression. No one should be ashamed to seek help for depression. In fact, it shows courage and the ability to recognize a problem.

What to do if Depression is Suspected

If you feel you may be depressed, chances are you are right. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to consult with a doctor. If, on the other hand, you know someone who may have depression, encouraging them to get help is the best advice. Do not treat them like idiots; simply tell them they should see someone about it. The important thing is; do something. You or your friend will not get better if the problem is ignored. It will not simply go away. Help is often just a phone call away.

Depression can worsen at a very quick pace and sometimes may even lead to unnecessary suicide. Many are amazed at how much better they feel, physically and emotionally, once they get the help they need. Depression treatment can sometimes also be taken care of with a health insurance policy, so it makes sense to look for one or to ring your existing provider to find out.